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War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race-Expanded Edition by [Edwin Black]

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War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race-Expanded Edition Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 169 ratings

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Length: 808 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the first half of the 20th century, more than 60,000 Americans-poor, uneducated, members of minorities-were forcibly sterilized to prevent them from passing on supposedly defective genes. This policy, called eugenics, was the brainchild of such influential people as Rockefellers, Andrew Carnegie and Margaret Sanger. Black, author of the bestselling IBM and the Holocaust, set out to show "the sad truth of how the scientific rationales that drove killer doctors at Auschwitz were first concocted on Long Island" at the Carnegie Institution's Cold Spring Harbor complex. Along the way, he offers a detailed and heavily footnoted history that traces eugenics from its inception to America's eventual, post-WWII retreat from it, complete with stories of the people behind it, their legal battles, their detractors and the tragic stories of their victims. Black's team of 50 researchers have done an impressive job, and the resulting story is at once shocking and gripping. But the publisher's claim that Black has uncovered the truth behind America's "dirty little secret" is a bit overstated. There is a growing library of books on eugenics, including Daniel Kevles's In the Name of Eugenics and Ellen Chesler's biography of Margaret Sanger, Woman of Valor. Black's writing tends to fluctuate from scholarly to melodramatic and apocalyptic (and sometimes arrogant), but the end result is an important book that will add to the public's understanding of this critical chapter of American history.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Booklist

Read all of his new book, investigative reporter Black insists, or none of it. Good advice, despite Black's many repetitions, odd word choices, and grammatical gaffes, for the story he tells shouldn't be imperfectly known. Its crux is that American researchers and laws inspired Nazi racism. Building on nineteenth-century English statistician Francis Galton's speculations about human heredity, and calling their highly subjective work eugenics, early-twentieth-century American researcher-activists persuaded many states to permit sexual sterilization of the mentally and physically inferior. With American eugenists cheering them on, the Nazis advanced to exterminating those deemed inferior. Thoroughly chronicling eugenics in America and Germany, Black stresses what happened rather than why. He doesn't probe individual eugenists' deep motivations or hazard cultural explanations; indeed, after exposing Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger's lifelong adherence to eugenics, Black pronounces her a great humanitarian. Less timorously, he asks whether contemporary genetics is becoming "newgenics" as insurance companies and employers find reasons to create an uninsurable, unemployable genetic underclass. Turgid but impressive, probably the popular history of eugenics for the foreseeable future. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • File Size : 7738 KB
  • Print Length : 808 pages
  • Publication Date : November 30, 2012
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Publisher : Dialog Press (November 30, 2012)
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 169 ratings